FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After picking up two road wins to open SEC play last week, the University of Arkansas volleyball team is still receiving votes in Monday’s release of the AVCA Division I Coaches’ Poll. The Razorbacks collected 56 points in the most recent national rankings and sit just one spot outside of the top 25. Arkansas (12-2, 2-0 SEC) returns to its home floor this Sunday, Oct. 4, for its SEC home opener against No. 9 Florida.
First serve of the Razorbacks’ conference matchup is scheduled for 3 p.m. (CT) at Barnhill Arena. Arkansas is in the midst of a stretch with seven-straight matches against teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The team has answered the challenge with a 4-1 record through the first five matches of that stretch. In the new PrepVolleyball.com Top 50, Arkansas increased its position to No. 25, up 13 spots from last week’s ranking.
With its wins last week at LSU and Texas A&M, the Razorbacks are off to a 2-0 start in SEC play for the third-consecutive season, and for the ninth time in program history. Arkansas opened league play with a five-set win over LSU in Baton Rouge and followed with a four-set triumph over the Aggies in College Station. Earlier Monday, juniors Pilar Victoria and Adrien Wohlschlaeger were named SEC Player and Setter of the Week, respectively.
Through the first five weeks of the season, Arkansas has posted a .278 team hitting percentage which ranks third in the SEC. The Razorbacks’ offensive attack is buoyed by its 13.85 kills per set, which is 41st in the nation, and 13.27 assists per set, a mark that leads the SEC and is tied for 21st in the NCAA. Arkansas also has a top-five defensive unit in the SEC, holding its opponent to a .170 hitting percentage.
Individually, Victoria’s offensive outburst last week boosted her statistical ranking among NCAA attackers. She is currently tied for 14th in the nation with 4.50 kills per set and 18th overall with 5.04 points per set. Chanell Clark-Bibbs continues her stand among the most efficient players in the NCAA with her .422 hitting percentage which also ranks fourth in the SEC. From the setter position, Wohlschlaeger is second in the SEC and 18th nationally with 11.37 assists per set.
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